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Bodystyle, dimensions and technical details

When the first Ford Focus arrived in 1998, it brought with it a styling theme that Ford dubbed ‘new edge’. It took a few people aback, but not by enough to stop the car from becoming Britain’s best-seller as early as 1999.

This time around, under the direction of Martin Smith, the Focus follows the latest Ford Fiesta and Ford C-Max in featuring its ‘kinetic’ design theme. The idea is that the car looks like it’s moving even when standing still, thanks to a series of creases and lines that emerge from and meld back into the body at various points down its length.

There’s a large gap between the grille and bonnet - large enough to make you wonder if it hasn’t been closed properly

In its engineering, the Focus features a layout that's as conventional as you'd expect: it has a front, transverse-mounted engine driving the front wheels through a choice of manual or twin-clutch automatic gearboxes. Suspension is by MacPherson struts at the front, with Ford's 'control blade' multi-link set-up at the rear.

What's unusual this time is that the Focus comes only with five doors. There's no three-door hatch option, while the estate line-up largely mirrors the hatch's, though with a small price premium.